Junction Hotel – A labour of love
Junction Hotel was built in 1879, designed in an ornate Italianate style typical of Oamaru’s Victorian architecture. It is a prominent landmark alongside State Highway 1.
The hotel has a chequered history: bankrupt owners, fire damage, prohibition, and a long period of decline and neglect. In 2019, A new owner brought a commitment to restoring the building. Ian Murton had always admired the building and seized the opportunity to buy the neglected building.
When Ian took over the building he found kicked in walls, missing doors, a leaky roof, and window joinery in dire need of replacement and repair.
Waitaki District Council’s heritage advisor, Heather Bauchop, supported Ian’s passion. Working with Heritage New Zealand’s buildings conservator, Andrew Barsby, she worked with Ian to put together funding applications to both the Waitaki District Heritage Fund and Heritage New Zealand’s National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund. In 2020, Ian received grants from both funds. The building was awarded $55,000 from the Waitaki Heritage Fund.
Ian has been working through the long process of restoring the hotel. As of February 2022, the roof, skylights and flashings have been replaced, the window joinery replaced or repaired, and the staircase rebuilt. Collapsing ceilings have been gibbed. Interior walls repaired. From the street the biggest change is the reinstatement of the windows in the east elevation, replacing the unsightly garage door.
While there’s a lot of work still to be done, Ian has saved the building.
The Waitaki Heritage Fund is proud to support this project.